More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, these statistics of people with diabetes could change in a positive direction. It all starts with understanding diabetes and making positive steps toward a healthy living. And knowledge is power. Boost your power with these seven facts about diabetes.
1. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2.
Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes, develops when your body's ability to use insulin becomes impaired. Insulin is the hormone that helps move glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into your cells where it's used to produce energy. When those cells become insulin resistant-meaning they don't respond to insulin as they should, it causes glucose to build up in your bloodstream.
2. Your body is producing too much of a good thing.
Glucose is a good thing. It's your body's primary source of energy, but when you have high blood glucose levels there's too much in your bloodstream, it can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs and over time, can lead to serious complications such as kidney disease.1 This is why you want to identify the symptoms, especially of undiagnosed diabetes early and take care of it immediately before your blood glucose levels get out of control. According to The American Heart Association, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing heart disease.2
3. Lifestyle is often the root cause.
Being overweight and sedentary can be significant risk factors in the development of Type 2 diabetes. A lack of physical activity and excess weight, can lead to an insulin resistance. You can help prevent diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight with a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. It is important to find an activity you enjoy and that fits easily into your schedule so that you'll keep doing it and incorporate it into your lifestyle. If you need to drop extra pounds, a weight loss plan like Jenny Craig helps you manage portion control, good nutrition and plenty of produce intake. You can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by getting moving and healthy eating.
4. Metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of symptoms common among people who are insulin resistant. These include higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, a large waist measurement due to excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. If you have metabolic syndrome, you should be working closely with your primary care physician to treat these issues.
5. More than 84 million people in the United States have prediabetes.
Prediabetes is defined as having high blood sugar, but not at the level that meets the diagnosis for diabetes. If the prediabetes is left untreated, individuals will likely develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. The CDC website offers a 7-question quiz to help you assess your risk. If you know you have high blood sugar, take steps to start living a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise to decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
6. You can reverse prediabetes.
A large study known as the Diabetes Prevention Program, involving more than 3,000 people with prediabetes, found that those who dropped their weight by 7 percent and got 150 minutes of physical activity each week reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent. Weight loss and exercise can even bring blood sugar levels back to normal without medication.
7. If you have diabetes, you can keep it under control.
There isn't a cure for diabetes, but you can take the steps necessary to manage this disease and prevent its complications. Once you've been diagnosed, you'll work with your doctor, diabetes educator, a dietitian, pharmacist and possibly other specialists as needed to develop the best treatment plan for you. You and your team will focus on controlling your blood glucose levels as well as maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels to prevent further complications of cardiovascular disease. Weight loss with diabetes is critical to minimizing and potentially reversing the impacts. Stay committed to your plan-to taking your medications as prescribed, eating healthfully, getting physical activity regularly and losing weight. You are the most important person in your diabetes care. Control your diabetes and you can control the quality of your life.
Diabetic Meal Plans by Jenny Craig
Jenny Craig has a special program for type 2 diabetes that has been clinically proven to result in weight loss and improved diabetes control†. We have a customized meal plan which helps you manage blood glucose levels and can help guide you to make a long-term lifestyle change. Learn more about the Jenny Craig Diabetes Program. We are here to help you on your journey to health!
†Diabetes Care 2014;37:1573-80. Doi:10.2337/dc13-2900